Canon C100 with Atomos Ninja 2 HD recorder
Dear Santa, I do NOT want a C300
It has always concerned me as to why everyone ‘has’ to have the best of everything; the best car, the best mobile phone and the best camera kit, especially when each of those respective markets cater (quite nicely) for lower specs. I cannot justify spending my hard earned money on a top-of-the-range motor with a badge on the bonnet, nor the latest in telephony devices and, more importantly, a camera that I may or may not use to its full capabilities.
This is why I didn't buy a Canon C300. I agree, they are superb and everyone and his dog are using them nowadays. But maybe that's the reason why I didn't buy one. How many job announcements have you seen touring the web insisting "you must have a C300"? I am looking at three right now and I very much doubt that a) at the end of the day, they really need a C300 b) they will never use all the gizmos it's packed with and c) it's a producer who used a C300 last time and we like the results' who posted the ad.
C100 and Atomos Ninja 2
Now here's where I'm going to loose some of you purists who won't have a word said against your belovèd C300s. When I sold my last camera, I dug around, took the industry temperature and spent more time than was healthy looking for a replacement. The Canon C series was looking pretty attractive and the 500 was immediately dismissed. It all came down to the flip of a coin; 300 vs 100. Heads. I bought the C100. And a Ninja-2.
Pros and Cons
And here's why ...The accelerated use of the internet, and its hunger to showcase corporate identity within hours, has grown out of all proportions with branded content becoming the horse to bet on. It all comes down to the market you’re working in but never in my time in the corporate world has a client ever requested slow-mo.
And that, as far as I can make out, is the only significant difference between an £8000 C300 a £2800 C100. Yeah, yeah, no GEN Lock and only 24Mpbs AVCHD 4:2:0 onto the internal SD cards. Please, no hate mail with your own lists ...
The 300 and the 100 share the same 8.3MP Super 35mm CMOS sensor, but by using the HDMI output of the C100 (together with a Ninja-2 HD recorder) the 4:2:2 output of the C100 certainly holds its own as far as picture quality with a C300.
Many industry consumers say that they would happily use a C100 as a 2nd camera simply because the HDMI output is so good. When matched with the Ninja-2 and its bit rate of 220Mbps, I can get ‘ready to edit’ 10-bit 422 Apple ProRes HQ files. And there, in a nutshell, is how I saved myself £4500 and continue to see a stream of happy, smiling clients.
Working with the C100
One day, I answered one of those interweb 'must have a C300' posts, stated my case (see previous paragraph) and sent the producer off to talk to the show's technical bods. "Yes, that's fine", she said "we'll see you in Paris on such-and-such a date". Bingo. A broadcast credit simply for taking the time to educate someone. Just because it’s at the low end off the market, doesn’t mean that it’s bad. It all comes down to how it’s used.
Oh, and if I ever need slo-mo, then I've got a chum up the road who'll rent me his F7 at 'mate's rates' ...